Dietgirl Shares Her 20 Best Weight-Loss Secrets

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Today's guest blogger is Shauna Reid, otherwise known as Dietgirl. In 2001, after seeing her gigantic white underpants waving in the breeze, Shauna decided enough was enough. It was time to lose weight. Then 351 pounds, she could barely walk down the block. Seven years and 175 pounds later, the 31-year-old Australia native is happily married and living in Scotland. (See the before and after photos here.)

How did she lose half her body weight and keep it off? Ultimately, the same way many SparkPeople members did: Through perseverance, hard work and moderation. Here, she offers 20 tips for those trying to lose weight and get healthy.

  1. First, start with the big picture. Write down your goals and be specific. What do you want to change? Where do you want to be a year from now?
  2. Next, focus on the details. Every day we make dozens of tiny decisions that can spell the difference between whether we lose weight or gain. Do you pick the muesli for breakfast or the chocolate muffin? Do you spend twenty minutes on the couch or twenty minutes on a brisk walk? Small changes can add up to huge results.
  3. Start exercising--no matter what your fitness level. At 25 stone I could only shuffle to the end of the street, but I gradually built up to the whole block. Within a couple of years I was running! Don't compare yourself to others, just work within your limits and take it slow and steady.
  4. Eat breakfast. A wholesome breakfast makes me feel smug, satisfied and determined to stay on track all day. My favourite is porridge, livened up with grated apple and cinnamon, or chopped banana and teaspoon of peanut butter.
  5. Be kind to yourself and your body. You don’t have to look in the mirror and chant, “I love me! I am beautiful!” but at the same time yelling at your thighs won’t encourage your weight loss efforts.
  6. Make your treats miniature. Instead of banning dessert, I choose smaller portions – like an apple crumble baked in a ramekin dish or a small bar of Green and Blacks chocolate. I get my sugar hit without dangerous leftovers!
  7. Lift weights. It won’t make you bigger – it’ll make you svelte and strong! If you’re worried about loose skin, resistance training is the best thing you can do to tone your body as you lose weight.
  8. Planning is crucial. Every Saturday I take ten minutes to plan our meals for the coming week. I choose from a list of 25 easy, tried-and-true recipes, so it’s quicker to cook than phone for a takeaway.
  9. Buy your groceries online. It saves time and you’re not tempted by all the sights and smells of the supermarket. Or tortured by your screaming children.
  10. Feel your emotions, don’t feed them. In times of stress it’s tempting to bury your feelings in cake – better to feel bad about binging than tackle the real issue! But try to find non-edible ways of coping – I highly recommend kickboxing classes.
  11. Go Greek. If you’re a cream or sour cream fiend, 0% or 2% Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute. It's low in fat, protein-rich and incredibly creamy. Dollop into meringue nests and top with fresh fruit. Splodge onto a bowl of chilli. Swirl into butternut squash soup.
  12. The best exercise is the one you enjoy. So what if your best friend swears by aerobics at dawn? If you’re a shift worker or just plain grumpy in the morning, this will never suit you. Choose an exercise you like and do it when it’s most convenient for you – this way you’ll stick with it.
  13. Stock your office pantry. It's much easier to ignore the vending machine when I’ve got half an orchard sitting on my desk and a drawer full of oatcakes, nuts and seeds.
  14. Have a cuppa. When hunger strikes and it’s not meal time, I make a cup of tea. This gives me time to figure out if I’m really hungry or if I’m just bored or cranky or upset. Herbal tea is great – experiment until you find one that doesn’t taste like grass clippings!
  15. Have a moan. Losing weight isn’t easy, but you don’t have to feel alone in the struggle. Start your own blog, or sign up for a message board. Remember, we’re all in this lardy boat together!
  16. Put the scales in perspective. Don’t fret over small fluctuations – focus on all the healthy things you’ve been doing for your body. Get out the tape measure or have a pair of “measurement jeans”, so you’re not dependent on the scales for feedback.
  17. Be adaptable. Make your weight loss plans fit around your life, not the other way around. Sometimes circumstances will change – a new job, a family crisis, moving house – and suddenly your usual routine doesn’t work. The trick is to be flexible and know when it’s time to tweak your methods.
  18. Set a non-scale goal. Why not train for a charity 5k race or challenge yourself to do ten push-ups? Focusing on fitness means I don’t fret about the numbers so much. And all those endorphins make me feel less inclined to go on a chocolate bender.
  19. Accept that sometimes it’s going to suck. Despite your best intentions, there will be days when you fall into a bag of crisps. But long-term success is about persistence, not perfection. It’s picking yourself up when you fall, over and over again.
  20. Don’t wait to be “skinny” to start living your life. If you have dreams of traveling or writing a book or learning to scuba dive, don’t think you need a smaller bum before you deserve them. Your life is happening right now – so forget about your wobbly bits and jump right in!

Content used with permission from Dietgirl.

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Thanks for your words of wisdom!! Report
Thanks for your words of wisdom!! Report
Good tips. Agree on them 100%. Report
Great tips. Thank you. And congratulations! Report
Thanks for sharing, Love love love this blog! Report
I cant see the tips anybody willing to share them with me? Report
Tips !? What tips !!? None show up currently. Would LOVE to know what they are..... can some one send them to me via email please ? Thanks !!!! Report
WOW! Congrats and great job! You look fantastic. I love the transformation you've made. Thanks for the tips! I'm glad to see the tip about not waiting til your skinny to live your life. I'll never be skinny, and that's not my goal, but once I finally finished my Dream Board/ Vision Collage, I started living it, I am living it. And I gave up on the scale a long time ago. Once I started to see a huge difference in my figure, and I was getting toned, I realized that the number on the scale isn't really all that important. My body changes are more important to me now. Report
The tips did not appear for me bummer Report
This is so great I'm printing it out to read every day! Thanks and congratulations! Report
those are great tips. i especially like the don't wait until your skinny one at the end! thanks Report
Love your light-hearted approach and I applaude your success! Report
AMEN, Girl!!!!! Absolutely loved the tips! Thanks for reminding us of all the little details that pave the way to the big picture! =) Report
Great tips. Congrats too on your awesome transformation. Keep up the great work.
Thanks for sharing your journey and the terrific tips. Report
I am currently reading this book, and I love it! I can relate to so many of the issues that Shauna has been going through. This is a great list of do's & don't highlights that she discovers during her journey. Report
Great blog, you make it sound so easy! Report
A close friend continuously postpones everything for when "I lose weight"
This makes me so made I want to wring his neck, I he can tell. I want him to be happy & I want him to like himself. I know he won't enjoy his life till he loses this weight. I worry about him & I know if I push the health thing any further than I have, he will get mad at me. He is a perfect example of #20. Report
Great blog!!! Report
great tips for avoiding the pitfalls Report
Great tips. Thanks for sharing. Report
Looks like an oldie but goodie from 2009...wonderful advice, and enjoyed looking at all of the photos of progress. Thanks for re-posting, as I missed this one the first time around. :) Report
Great tips!!! It helps to get advice from someone who's been there!!! Report
Congrats to you! Your determination & persistence in not giving up paid off. Keep on blogging it really hits home. :) Report
Thank you so much. Persistence will be my mantra. You are one amazing young lady! Report
great to see you have gotten total contol over your eating and lifestyle...thanks for the great tips
j~ Report
Thanks for the great tips and encouragement! I so need to hear this. I am having a difficult time with my scale this week. After weeks of losing it just is sitting there and not showing how hard I am working and sweating and watching what I eat! I will set a non weight way to measure my progress and reward my effort this next week no matter what the numbers say. I will keep smiling and doing my best. Thanks for the encouragement. Smiles Barb Report
Written in "true blue Aussi lingo", made me smile with the colourful use of the English language... Not an ounce of BS in it!!
Beauty mate... good on yu! Report
Thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration. Report
Thanks for sharing! I especially like #20. Report
Great story! Very motivational! Report
Great article! A keeper. THANKS. Report
Very inspiring!! Report
Very good insight. Thank you for sharing. You are amazing! Report
I adore Shauna and her web site. She always keeps it real. Sometimes I read her archives from the start of her journey and am always inspired. Report
Wonderful Tips!! No doubt it has best weight loss tips!! Report
Thank you, just what I needed to read! :) Report
Thank you diet girl for sharing this Report
Thank you! Report
Great tips! Thanks so much:) Report
Thank you! This is a great story!! Report
Thank you for your inspirational story and your great article. Brava to you! Report
I honestly have to say that these are very excellent tips. Pretty much everything you said I was not doing and still wondering why i wasnt losing. I have like 9 or 10 vending machines at work with pretty much anything you can think of and its not fun! So I will definitely try these 20 tips! Thanks for everything! Report
Great tips. Can't wait to start incorporating them into my weightloss plan!! Report
This was great. Talk about boiling it down to just the key stuff! I think I'll print it and stick it in my wallet for those panic button moments. Report
congratulations and thank you for all the wonderful advice! Report
Just bookmarked Diet Girl. Looking forward to reading her book and reading her blogs. Thank you for sharing. Report
Congratulations on your incredible success, and thank you so much for sharing! Report
thanks for the tips! and congrats on your weight loss! Report